Iran-backed militias threatened to retaliate after the U.S. issued airstrikes Sunday in Iraq and Syria.
The U.S. airstrikes targeted “operational and weapons storage facilities” used by Iranian militia groups that included Kata’ib Hezbollah (KH) and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada (KSS), Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in a statement Sunday. Paramilitaries said four members were killed in the airstrikes, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“We are fully prepared…to respond and take revenge,” a commander of one of the militias that was hit, Ahmed al-Maksusi, said, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist propaganda, according to the WSJ.
Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi’s spokesman condemned the airstrikes as well and described them as “a blatant and unacceptable violation of Iraqi sovereignty and Iraqi national security,” according to the outlet.
The Pentagon sought approval from President Joe Biden in May and was delayed twice prior to Sunday’s statement announcing the airstrikes, a source familiar with the situation told the Daily Caller. The airstrikes occurred following reported attacks against U.S. forces at bases in Iraq, the source added.
These recent attacks against U.S. forces reportedly included a “bomb-laden drone” and rocket attacks, The Jerusalem Post previously reported.
“The United States took necessary, appropriate, and deliberate action designed to limit the risk of escalation – but also to send a clear and unambiguous deterrent message,” Kirby said in Sunday’s statement. (RELATED: Biden Reportedly Called Off Second Syria Airstrike After Woman, Children Spotted At Site)
Biden’s administration has expressed interest in re-entering the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Talks have proven difficult, with national security adviser Jake Sullivan saying just a few weeks ago that there’s “a fair distance to travel” regarding sorting out various issues, like sanctions against Iran.
The Department of Defense did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller.